Map Best Neighborhoods Jacksonville FL

Best Neighborhoods in Jacksonville FL

Executive Summary / disclaimer:  "best" is subjective.  When looking for the best neighborhoods in Jacksonville, be careful who you listen to... everyone has an opinion, but it's absolutely subjective.  That being said - I'm a REALTOR and I've lived in 6 different homes in the Jacksonville area including St Johns county.  I've purchased additional homes that I've flipped or rented, so I have my opinion but I'm also privy to the information as to how many inquiries we have per location.  In addition, I have the intel on which locations resell the best.  One big tip if you are concerned about resale in the future = choose top school districts!  The list below is my opinion, does not necessarily include top school districts, but does include the top levels of interest for most people.  If you are moving to Jacksonville, please reach out if you'd like to dig deeper into any of these locations or you need additional help in your search.

LOCATION:  Near Downtown Jax

San Marco

A more historic community with a vibrant restaurant, bar, and shopping scene.  Highly walkable, many San Marco residents will walk to dinner and entertainment venues, making the short trek home after a couple cocktails super easy.  Great public schools including access to magnet programs and nearby top private schools of Episcopal and Bolles.  There is a lot of real estate construction happening in this community including tear downs, renovations, and new builds of condos, townhomes, and apartments.   Visit the San Marco neighborhood page


A historic community near downtown and bordered by Riverside and Ortega.  You'll have many restaurants and great watering holes within Avondale and everything will be a short walk or bike ride away.  The walkability is high and the community atmosphere is tight.  There is always homes being renovated and you can find some real charmers with next level curb appeal in this walkable district.  We receive a fairly decent number of people starting out in one of these historic areas or deciding to scale down and move into one of these more walkable historic districts and Avondale is always on their list.  Visit the Avondale neighborhood page. 


A near downtown historic community, Riverside is probably considered the more "up and coming" of the top historic districts, AKA the more affordable historic community.  The food scene is booming and the atmosphere is eclectic for certain.  It's hard to determine where Riverside ends and Avondale begins as the lines have blurred due to the amount of homes being renovated in Riverside over recent years.  This trend continues and the popularity of this walkable historic district is no longer a locals only secret.  Visit the Riverside neighborhood page.  


Slightly further away from downtown, but still considered one of the more "intown" communities, Ortega is full of grand waterfront homes, traditional style homes, and sharp historic bungalows.  Most living in Ortega will frequent the food scene of Avondale and Riverside, but Ortegans have several big benefits to their slice of Jax:  the Timuquana Country Club, multiple marinas to store your boat, ramps for your boat, and more affordable waterfront homes.  Visit the Ortega neighborhood page.  

LOCATION:  The Beaches

Atlantic Beach

Always one of the highest price per square foot locations in Jax, Atlantic Beach is a must shop if your budget allows.  You'll have access to all good things beachy including of course the beach, the restaurants, and the shopping.  Atlantic Beach offers the potential to get away from the main touristy sections and live on the beach or within blocks of the beach.  Not to say the tourist aren't aware of Atlantic Beach, but most of the community is more of a neighborhood feel overall.  All beach locations have easy access to golfing and top dining locations.  You'll want a beach cruiser and a spare bedroom for all your family insisting on regular visits.  Visit the Atlantic Beach neighborhood page.  

Neptune Beach

Neptune is still the hidden gem between Atlantic Beach and Jax Beach.  Neptune Beach is predominantly housing with most of the restaurants and shops being in Atlantic or Jax Beach.  It has hit the radar of many of the higher-end house renovators since Atlantic Beach has become more out of reach in affordability, so home renovations are happening as well as mow-downs.  Less overall housing than the biggies next door, but some great values exist here!  Visit the Neptune Beach neighborhood page.

Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach is by far the most affordable of all the beaches up down the Jacksonville coastline.  Full of restaurants, shopping, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. - if you want easy access to all the amenities, Jax beach should be on your list.  It's busier here, and you'll have a vibrant community that grows with the nearly never ending events put on by the city.  You'll have concerts, parades, art walks, fundraisers, competitive races including running and swimming, and even an air show ever other year.  Jax Beach is a happening community and the residents are proud of it.  Visit the Jacksonville Beach neighborhood page.  

Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach should probably have it's own section.  It is a beach location, but also one of the more predominate cities in the Jax metro area.  Technically in St Johns County, Ponte Vedra boasts not only the beach location but also top schools, which makes it one of the most desirable.  PVB houses some of the most desirable golfing communities in the area including Sawgrass where The Players Championship is held annually.  Home to some of the highest housing prices in Northeast Florida, Ponte Vedra still offers a few good deals every so often - especially if you are open to renovation.  Visit the Ponte Vedra Beach neighborhood page.    

LOCATION:  The Burbs


Mandarin is one of the larger neighborhoods on our list but encompasses a well known location full of great schools and great communities.  Mandarin has always been considered a top suburb of Jax and has all the requirements:  great schools, shopping, restaurants, and best of all - affordability!  This community has probably some of the most affordable options of all the neighborhoods on our list, but don't let that fool you - Mandarin also has some of the most grand waterfront properties available.  Visit the Mandarin neighborhood page.  

Julington Creek

Just South of Mandarin is Julington Creek neighborhood.  A St Johns county community, Julington Creek is home to top schools and affordable homes.  One big benefit to Julington Creek over other St Johns locations:  the supporting businesses are already there!  Grocery, dining, medical, etc... all there.  This location is almost always on every relocation list as a possible neighborhood, making resell super easy when / if you are ever ready to move out.  Visit the Julington Creek neighborhood page.  


If you are moving to Jacksonville, Nocatee will be on your list as a potential best neighborhood.  Nocatee has been in the news for years and continues to be one of the biggest growth drivers to St Johns county. It is a fully encompassed community with its' own schools and amenities.  Nocatee will have close to 10,000 total houses at some point in the years to come.  It's huge, it has a plethora of activities, and most people who made the move, love living there.  You'll need a golf cart for easy access to drive around the multiple square miles of amenities and water parks.  Visit Nocatee neighborhood page.  

County Road 210 / Northeast St Johns

This large area in St Johns County is home to many full amenity communities and had to be included as a top neighborhood.  Some of the best "A" rated schools in the overall Jax marketplace are here in north St Johns.  When looking for a home in northeast St Johns, you'll have small affordable neighborhoods, large masterplanned communities, golf communities, and upscale gated communities.  There are also new communities being built and this entire area is in a major growth cycle.  In the 20+ years I've lived in Jax - this area continues to be a major player in the top neighborhoods in Jacksonville (albeit in St Johns County).  Visit St Johns neighborhoods page

Honorable mentions

A few honorable mentions that didn't make the "best neighborhoods in Jacksonville FL" list.  We like these neighborhoods, but there just isn't room enough at the top for everyone.  Here they are in no particular order:

  • Fleming Island:  Large community in Clay County with good schools.  A little far away from Jax, but that's probably better for some!  
  • St Nicholas:  A near downtown neighborhood.  Small in overall housing size, but a great location without the premium price tag of other intown communities.  
  • Intracoastal East:  Large area close to the beach but not really close enough to bike over unless you really want to put in the effort.  Full of neighborhoods and fairly affordable.  
  • Amelia Island:  Great for a vacation home, but not so good for driving into Jax.  It's a bit far and not that easy to get to.  Large retirement population so could be ideal if that's your thing.  
  • St Augustine:  Its own place, some do commute to Jax for work, but it's a solid 45+ minutes.  Can be touristy but also some really nice areas and some great dining and entertainment venues.  
Posted by Brad Officer on
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